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Which OS Performs Best With SSDs?

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the io-io-it's-off-to-work-we-go dept.

Data Storage 255

Lucas123 writes "Linux, Vista and Mac OS perform differently with solid state disks. While all of them work well with SSDs, as they write data more efficiently or run fewer applications in the background than XP, surprisingly Windows 2000 appears to be the winner when it comes to performance. However, no OS has yet been optimized to work with SSDs. This lost opportunity is one Microsoft plans to address with Windows 7; Apple, too, is likely to upgrade its platform soon for better SSD performance."

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Linux, as a matter of fact (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26076521)

Dosen't perform well with anything.

Re:Linux, as a matter of fact (5, Funny)

Jonah Bomber (535788) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076537)

Geniuses often don't play well with others.

Re:Linux, as a matter of fact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077155)

I knew it! I'm a genius!

Re:Linux, as a matter of fact (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26076723)

from TFA: "Linux is "always faster" than Vista or Mac OS X"

Windows 2000 is fastest of Windows and Mac OSX OSs (1, Insightful)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076541)

They didn't compare anything to Linux, so I just have one question:

How easy would it be to modify Windows 2000 to be even better? Replace the file systems, alter the way the kernel writes to the drive, etc?

Re:Windows 2000 is fastest of Windows and Mac OSX (2, Insightful)

Malc (1751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076689)

What is your criteria for a different file system? NTFS is already a very good one for most of the important criteria.

Re:Windows 2000 is fastest of Windows and Mac OSX (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26076745)

NTFS is terrible. It's ability to fragment itself into tiny little pieces that cripple server performance and stability is proof of that.

ReiserFS is good (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26076819)

for when you need to partition your wife

Re:ReiserFS is good (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077003)

that's not funny, that's sick.

Re:ReiserFS is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077021)

[citation needed]

It's called dark humor (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077029)

Stop posting on Slashdot and go back to jail, Hans.

Re:Windows 2000 is fastest of Windows and Mac OSX (5, Informative)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076869)

Actually recent benchmarks have shown that defragging doesn't make *that* much of a difference - http://www.maximumpc.com/article/the_disk_defrag_difference?page=0%2C2 [maximumpc.com] I've never heard of a fragmented drive affecting machine stability. That's like saying having a 5400 RPM drive instead of a 10,000 RPM drive in a server will make it crash... It makes no sense. Fragmentation has nothing to do with data integrity which is the only thing that would affect stability.

Also, it's "its" not "it's".

Re:Windows 2000 is fastest of Windows and Mac OSX (2, Interesting)

ADRA (37398) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077167)

Fragmentation causes more needle shifts than regular burst read/writes. If a hard-drive is most likely to die from needle shifts, fragmentation could wear on the drive more than a nice and tidy system.

Of course this is all speculation and moving the needle could have absolutely nothing to do with death rates, who knows.

Re:Windows 2000 is fastest of Windows and Mac OSX (4, Insightful)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077173)

LOL.

I had in past run a Windows server for about 2 years. And it was terribly slow, despite the fact that in the beginning it was blazingly fast. I believe it was O&O Defrag which actually returned the server to life: downtime on Sunday with boot time defragmentation did the miracle.

Same thing in the company I work for right now: IT recently took off net two file servers and exchange server to defragment file systems, because FS performance went considerably down. Folks have said that they "lose to fragmentation 30% of FS performance," meaning that system works about twice faster after defragmentation. That's why they schedule at least one down time for every windows server in company.

Whatever synthetic benchmarks people perform - it is irrelevant.

Long term real life experience tells otherwise.

Re:Windows 2000 is fastest of Windows and Mac OSX (1, Informative)

INeededALogin (771371) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077231)

I've never heard of a fragmented drive affecting machine stability.

Hear it now. I use to work at a digital invoicing company which used ext2 on linux. We were seeing extremely slow reads and writes to the disk. Now, in this environment, we were writing upwards of 10 gigs of data a day(spread amongst thousands of files). We would also delete 9 gigs of that daily. Compound this behavior over a couple of years and we were left with a heavily fragmented disk. The solution was simple... we re-wrote all the data.

Fragmentation has nothing to do with data integrity which is the only thing that would affect stability.

Wrong again, fragmentation makes the disk have to work harder. Think about it... the disk could read 10 bytes incrementing a byte at a time or it could be required to skip 20 gigs to read each byte(this is an over-simplification). This will increase wear and tear on the moving parts as well as extra heat. So, extreme fragmentation will likely decrease the life of your disks.

Re:Windows 2000 is fastest of Windows and Mac OSX (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077361)

Not to rain on your anecdote, but 10GB of changes a day isn't a whole lot. I have some systems that will read and write that in 8 seconds. We don't worry too much about drive fragmentation, but our file tend to be stored in gigantic chunks anyway and we don't do lots of little read/write accesses that would tend to fragment the system. In my experiance, the best way to avoid fragmentation is to leave lots of free space on the disk. If you let the disk get above some threshold (I'm not exactly sure where it is, but I'm guessing somewhere around 75%) then it will start fragmenting a lot, especially if you update large files repeatedly (Databases).

Re:Windows 2000 is fastest of Windows and Mac OSX (2, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077241)

depends on your definition of crash. Having a slower HD will cause disk IO to stack under heavy load. What is the real difference between a server that has crashed, and one that doesn't respond? Fragmented disks will have the possibility of a similar effect. The linked article measures the difference between a disk that is 7.5% fragmented and after its been defragged. 7.5% isn't much. It really depends upon which files have been fragmented. If they are rarely accessed data files, then obviously there isn't going to be much of a performance difference. If they are frequently accessed, then the difference would be huge. I've seen desktops that topped out at 30% fragmentation. The performance after dragging is night and day. Its much more important for me to have consistent performance ( due to automatic reallocation of files when they would be fragmented) than a gradual slowdown that requires downtime for defragmentation.

Note, haven't run windows in production servers for the past ten years. But I don't think NTFS has changed that much since then.

Re:Windows 2000 is fastest of Windows and Mac OSX (4, Informative)

Amouth (879122) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077451)

i alwasy got a kick out of the NT4 documentation for how to defragment a partition.. the "best pratice" was to back the data up to tape then format the partition and restore from the tape..

alwasy gave me a good laugh..

Re:Windows 2000 is fastest of Windows and Mac OSX (2, Interesting)

Bwian_of_Nazareth (827437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077701)

Actually thru extremely slow hard disk drives you are able to discover a lot of race-conditions that would otherwise go unnoticed.

Re:Windows 2000 is fastest of Windows and Mac OSX (0)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076961)

How easy would it be to modify Windows 2000 to be even better?

Pretty damn hard, since step 1 of the project is "disassemble Windows and make sense of it." There are reasons people like working with Open Source stuff, and having the source is one of them.

Re:Windows 2000 is fastest of Windows and Mac OSX (2, Insightful)

nonewmsgs (1249950) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077047)

the source of windows 2000 was leaked a few years ago. http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2004/2/15/71552/7795 [kuro5hin.org]

Re:Windows 2000 is fastest of Windows and Mac OSX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077537)

Several days ago, two files containing Microsoft source code began circulating on the Internet. One contains a majority of the NT4 source code: this is not discussed here. The other contains a fraction of the Windows 2000 source code, reportedly about 15% of the total.

15 percent of the source of Windows 2k leaked. Probably not enough to be useful.

Re:Windows 2000 is fastest of Windows and Mac OSX (1)

jack2000 (1178961) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077759)

You know those 15% might as well be all that's been changed. *snicker*

Awful article (5, Insightful)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076617)

It conflates the results of several independent tests to form the view that XP is somehow best. It also bandies about meaningless numbers like one OS being x% faster than another without giving any hint of the metric.

Avoid.

Re:Awful article (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076673)

I gave it the quick once over looking for graphs, or the programs they used... I saw neither.

Re:Awful article (5, Informative)

iYk6 (1425255) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076693)

Several problems with the article. No mention of metric, as parent said. No mention of what Linux-based OS they used. Choice quotes like the following, "but Linux is 'always faster' than Vista or Mac OS X -- to the tune of 1% to 2% -- because like Windows 2000, 'it never runs anything in the background.'" What do background applications have to do with anything? And both Windows 2000 and all Linux distros run stuff in the background. Even DOS does that.

To top it off, the article is spread out over 3 pages. Here's the print link: http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=printArticleBasic&taxonomyName=Storage&articleId=9123140&taxonomyId=19 [computerworld.com]

Re:Awful article (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26076733)

This article is 34% more shitty than the average /. article.

Re:Awful article (1)

adisakp (705706) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077493)

It also says that Mac OS will be able to optimize for SSD in the future better because OSX is a closed OS. (Which IIRC, the exact opposite is true: Windows is closed source and the lower levels of OSX are open source)

Do we just need a new filesystem? (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076625)

Filesystems are fundamentally engineered to cope with the high latency of hard drives, so I'd imagine there are a lot of assumptions to unlearn. But what other implications are there for the OS? Since the tradeoffs between RAM and persistent storage are smaller with SSD, maybe the changes should go beyond the filesystem into the virutal memory system?

Re:Do we just need a new filesystem? (2, Interesting)

MattBD (1157291) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076987)

Isn't LogFS designed specifically for flash memory? At present most flash drives seem to come with FAT, purely because anything can read that, but that's sure as hell not designed for flash. Seeing as portable music players seem to be heading towards using flash memory, they could do with something like that.

Re:Do we just need a new filesystem? (4, Informative)

ChienAndalu (1293930) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077141)

There is a new rising star called Btrfs [wikipedia.org] , which was discussed on /. a few weeks ago, that has a "SSD optimized mode", activated through a mount option.

Re:Do we just need a new filesystem? (2, Insightful)

MattBD (1157291) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077229)

I'd heard of Btrfs, but I didn't know it had an SSD optimised mode. That could be REALLY handy for music players and netbooks.

Re:Do we just need a new filesystem? (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077099)

Filesystems are fundamentally engineered to cope with the high latency of hard drives [...]

In what ways ?

Re:Do we just need a new filesystem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077103)

I'm pretty sure ZFS and JFFS are both work really well on flash media...

Re:Do we just need a new filesystem? (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077157)

I think that one thing we can forget about with SSD is file fragmentation. The contiguity of data will be far less of a problem with the negligible latency times of these new disks.
What else ? I don't think we will lose the file-tree metaphor as it is a nice way to organize data. Maybe the changes will be at a higher level : making a lot of small files should be more manageable now. Reading and writing 100+ files simultaneously will not be insane anymore so maybe this will create some new good practices.

Re:Do we just need a new filesystem? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077703)

I think that one thing we can forget about with SSD is file fragmentation. The contiguity of data will be far less of a problem with the negligible latency times of these new disks.

Well, no, actually -- remember how Firefox used to leak memory? A lot of that was actually memory fragmentation. And RAM has exactly as much seek time as an SSD -- that is, none at all.

It's less of an issue, certainly. You probably don't want to run a defragger nearly as much, maybe not at all. But there's still an advantage -- especially if the block layer is doing wear-leveling for you -- to storing large files in contiguous extents, and packing small files together into a single block.

Re:Do we just need a new filesystem? (4, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077601)

Well, the article is crap in many ways -- doesn't cite what benchmarks they actually used, just throws around meaningless percentages and outright lies (Linux and Win2k absolutely do run things in the background).

One of the other little details they left out is which filesystem they used, on any platform. My guess is, they just used the default -- I wonder if they were even aware of alternatives (you can install Win2k on FAT32, if you really want).

So, to answer your comment, Linux has at least two filesystems that are designed to work directly on solid-state media. Unfortunately, most SSDs pretend to be ATA hard drives, but the point still stands -- Linux has many filesystems. I wonder which one actually performs best on that ATA drive?

"a lost opportunity" (1)

qoncept (599709) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076637)

...a lost opportunity... Since the market has already hit its peak and it's too late now. And they'll never be able to sell to the 20 people that are using SSDs.

Re:"a lost opportunity" (1)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077197)

I wonder what you think are in most EEE pcs, then.

Summary FAIL (3, Interesting)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076703)

"If you really want to go inside [the OS numbers], Windows 98 was the fastest of all," Far said.

Nevers run anything in the background? You what? (4, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076727)

FTA:

"Linux is "always faster" than Vista or Mac OS X -- to the tune of 1% to 2% -- because like Windows 2000, "it never runs anything in the background."

I'm sorry , what? Have these people never heard of daemon processes? What the hell are they talking about?
If this is their level of expertise I think I'd take any tests they do with a whole cellar full of salt.

Re:Nevers run anything in the background? You what (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076751)

They meant relevent things. For example, XP will defrag your disk without you asking it to as soon as you're marginally idle... Vista the same, but will also index your disk continually...

Re:Nevers run anything in the background? You what (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26076935)

On most distris slocate also indexes your disk in the background by a cronjob not asking the user to do so... I also think the test is trash judging on the niveau of this articel.

Re:Nevers run anything in the background? You what (5, Interesting)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076995)

For example, XP will defrag your disk without you asking it to as soon as you're marginally idle

XP will not. OS X will. In fact, OS X will defrag your thumb drive without your permission. It was bad enough that it was wearing my disk for no benefit, but it also made my thumb drive remarkably non-resiliant to power outages.

Re:Nevers run anything in the background? You what (5, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077307)

That's because Mac users are non technical and open their files by name rather than cluster number. If you do that then defragmenting doesn't break anything.

Re:Nevers run anything in the background? You what (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077367)

For example, XP will defrag your disk without you asking it to as soon as you're marginally idle

XP will not. OS X will. In fact, OS X will defrag your thumb drive without your permission. It was bad enough that it was wearing my disk for no benefit, but it also made my thumb drive remarkably non-resiliant to power outages.

Actually, no, they both do for varying definitiosn of defrag. What the parent was talking about is almost certainly advapi32.dll's ProcessIdleTasks() routine which does hot-band bootup files described in layout.ini to the head of the disk. (giggity)

Then again, saying Linux doesn't "do stuff in the background" like this is misleading too -- cron jobs, Tracker/Beagle/Strigi on various distributions, and so on.

Re:Nevers run anything in the background? You what (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077419)

Your ad here. Ask me how!

Me how?

Re:Nevers run anything in the background? You what (-1, Offtopic)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077425)

Linux is the Operating System... I repeat, the Linux Kernel is the Operating System. Not because the OS is called as "Linux" but because the Linux kernel is monolith kernel and not microkernel.

Linux operating system does not include any parts on userland mode. Do not mistake that to developing platform called GNU/Linux or complete software system what are called distributions. All Linux-distributions includes Linux operating system and different set of applications, from what some are services called daemons and some are just systemtools and some normal desktop applications etc.

When you talk about Linux Operating System, you talk the Linux kernel... and not about something else with it. What ever you run with Linux, is not part of Operating System. If Linux would be a microkernel, then the case would be different because microkernel is not alone an Operating System but a kernel. So do not fall to marketing propaganda that the software system what you get on Ubuntu disk etc, is the complete Operating System. You get graphical operating system if you have possible to get a software what draws a GUI.

The difference is that Linux OS runs as monolith in one virtualaddress while Microkernel structured operating system runs protected processes between microkernel and OS servers in userland. You can move those OS servers to kernel space, still them being separated from the kernel itself. Then you just get a so called "Hybrid kernel" what is marketing too, because the kernel is still microkernel and OS structure is still such and not monolith.

Confusing article (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076737)

Uhm, what are they talking about? What are the things "running in the background" that are presumably hitting the disk all the time? Why do they believe that Windows 98 somehow magically bypass the wear-levelling built in to the SSDs? Or are they talking about raw flash, not sitting behind a controller?

I find this a little scary too: Microsoft also plans a certification program for SSDs

The conspiracy theorist in me see a future with proprietary extensions and requirement for getting certification is to make windows-drivers only... :P

Re:Confusing article (4, Insightful)

James McP (3700) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076955)

I find this a little scary too: Microsoft also plans a certification program for SSDs

TFA: "Microsoft also plans a certification program for SSDs so that the drives properly identify themselves to Windows 7 and prioritize data I/O for the SATA interface. "

While MS is known for embrace-extend-engulf, this is nothing to panic over. If the drive passes a string that identifies it as an SSD, Win7 (or any other OS) will use different disk control logic than they will for an HDD. All OSes will benefit if there's a clear way of identifying SSDs; MS, Linux, Apple, Sun, IBM, all of 'em. Change the preferred block size, alter garbage management, adjust caching to deal with 1 ms response times, (typically) fast reads,(typically) slow writes, etc.

Re:Confusing article (1)

Jeff Hornby (211519) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077479)

I for one am glad Microsoft is planning on certifying SSD disks. Hopefully that will keep Joe's SSD and Auto Wrecking out of the SSD space. I work in the Microsoft world and from what I've seen most of the really big problems aren't caused by Microsoft but by third party vendors in both the hardware and software space building cheap stuff.

Stupid article... (4, Interesting)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076741)

Have they tuned Linux for SSD? Like setting no-op IO scheduler (which gives about 20% speedup on some workloads)?

I suspect that Win2000 and Win98 win because they have the most simple (and stupid) IO schedulers. That's a problem for conventional HDDs, but it's an advantage for SSDs.

Also, they are talking about "Win98 doesn't support wear-levelling technology". But that's incredibly stupid since modern 'disk-like' SSDs do wear-leveling in hardware.

No optimized OS = false (5, Interesting)

The Man (684) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076749)

Since they didn't test Solaris, the test is meaningless. It's the only OS in existence right now with caching and data management features designed specifically to take advantage of flash to improve real-world performance. The submitter's assertion to the contrary is a deliberate lie, an assumption that until Microsoft does something it hasn't been done, or at best sheer ignorance.

Read up on the ZFS L2ARC and the use of supercap/DRAM/flash subsystems for separate intent logs that make up the hybrid storage pool [acmqueue.org] . There are plenty of white papers and other material out there, and of course you can also read the source code. [opensolaris.org]

Re:No optimized OS = false (0, Flamebait)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077067)

With all due respect, if you read TFA they're looking at desktop OSs. Solaris is about as much of a desktop OS as Cowboy Neal is a suave, socially gifted babe magnet - which is to say it's not in the least bit a desktop OS. While what you say is technically true, it's not what is being discussed. There is no desktop OS optimized for SSDs.

Re:No optimized OS = false (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077215)

OpenSolaris is a desktop OS.

Re:No optimized OS = false (5, Insightful)

nvrrobx (71970) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077265)

With all due respect, I call shenanigans on your logic here. OpenSolaris is just as much of a desktop OS as Linux is. Have you looked at the hardware it supports and what runs on it recently?

The word "desktop" isn't even mentioned in the article anywhere.

After reading TFA, it all feels a bit vague anyhow. I see no real performance results, just a few percentages thrown around.

Re:No optimized OS = false (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077485)

With all due respect, if you read TFA they're looking at desktop OSs. Solaris is about as much of a desktop OS as Cowboy Neal is a suave, socially gifted babe magnet - which is to say it's not in the least bit a desktop OS. While what you say is technically true, it's not what is being discussed. There is no desktop OS optimized for SSDs.

How is OpenSolaris less of a desktop OS then Ubuntu?

Re:No optimized OS = false (1)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077087)

The submitter's assertion to the contrary is a deliberate lie

Don't mistake ignorance for malevolence. ;-)

Re:No optimized OS = false (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077253)

If you read the articles you reference you would also note that this does not affect solaris. But is instead for opensolaris, the not for production semi-unsupported release. As the administrator of a mostly solaris shop, I'm excited about what opensolaris will bring, but until the release of solaris 11, it is simply not supported by existing contracts.

Re:No optimized OS = false (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077343)

You raise valid point, though /me sarcastic pushes me to rather write something like "probably they couldn't boot it on the hardware"...

Also note that Sun isn't really advertising their OpenSolaris well. Lots of people who use Solaris on daily basis have absolutely no clue about its open source cousin for Intel processors - and heard first about OpenSolaris from me, Linuxoid.

But it would be really interesting to see whether the Solaris' optimizations bring something or not.

Article is bullshit (5, Insightful)

francium de neobie (590783) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076771)

When I read into the middle, it says,

According to Far, Mac OS X runs "a little faster than Vista" with an SSD drive, but Linux is "always faster" than Vista or Mac OS X -- to the tune of 1% to 2% -- because like Windows 2000, "it never runs anything in the background."

Ok, so Linux and Windows 2000 never run anything in the background. My head exploded so I stopped reading.

Re:Article is bullshit (3, Funny)

icydog (923695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077011)

What? Don't you know that Microsoft invented multitasking with Windows XP? Linux and Windows 2000 are incapable of running background processes.

Re:Article is bullshit (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077387)

Compared to background indexers in Vista and Mac OS X, Linux and Win2k run nothing in background. Even more most indexers I have seen on Linux allow to suspend or schedule the indexing process. On Vista and Mac OS X you can't do that - it is just there doing all the time something with your disk...

Re:Article is bullshit (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077649)

I know a lot of Slashdotters gripe about this, but I really like being able to hit Start (or Command-Space IRC on Mac) and just type "christmas pa" and get all my christmas party information in one list, instantly. I don't really care if it all runs 1% slower at all other times.

it's not clear to me what's being measured (4, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076773)

The article is all over the map, discussing in vague terms everything from boot-up speed to I/O speed to some sort of generic "runs a little faster" that I assume (?) means overall system or app benchmark performance.

When actual numbers are quoted, they sound somewhere between questionable and boring. The article quotes all sorts of differences in the range of 1% and 2%. Leaving aside the question of what this is a 2% difference in, and whether a difference that small is even consistently measurable outside of sampling error and quirks of their particular setup, does it actually matter? I'm certainly not going to choose an OS based on a 2% difference in SSD performance.

little laptops (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076775)

A lot of the really small low power laptops use SSD hard drives. Dell's mini's use them. There is a market for these little laptops. Granted these are not for gamers, or engineers. But for email, web surfing, taking notes in class, these things work fine. I have seen a lot of those Dell mini's in the hands of college students. This fall I may see a lot more.

Re:little laptops (1)

MattBD (1157291) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077013)

I think the manufacturers of netbooks who offer Linux would be well advised to invest in the development of LogFS, because that would probably pay dividends in terms of improved performance, seeing as it's designed specifically for flash memory.

WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26076835)

"
Linux is "always faster" than Vista or Mac OS X -- to the tune of 1% to 2% -- because like Windows 2000, "it never runs anything in the background.
"

WTF? Have they never heard of "daemons" or "services" ?!?
WTF!

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077533)

WTF? Have you never heard the fact that Linux kernel is the Operating System and thats why all Linux-distributions are called as Linux operating Systems and not like "Ubuntu Operating System" and so on?

Daemons or "Services" are just applications what are running TOP of the Operating System. Do not mistake microkernel and monolith kernel together, those are different and other of them is the Operating System alone. I let you quess wich one is OS while other is just a kernel alone ;)

Why would I care? (5, Insightful)

Trillan (597339) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076891)

Even if their methodology was clear.
Even if their methodology was valid.
Even if every percentage point was accurate.
Even if all of their arguments were valid.
(And none of these are true.)
Why would I care enough about 5% to let that pick my OS?

Re:Why would I care? (1)

Explodicle (818405) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077351)

Why would I care enough about 5% to let that pick my OS?

That depends on what you're using the computer for. Some people only care about how fast a particular application runs. In those cases, the choice of OS is factor, but not an an end unto itself.

Re:Why would I care? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077635)

Why would I care enough about 5% to let that pick my OS?

Not all of these studies/articles are written for the benefit of end users.

Think of it this way: 5% across 10,000 computers.

Weird article. (2)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076945)

It's not only 'bad' it's weirdly bad.

According to Far, Mac OS X runs "a little faster than Vista" with an SSD drive, but Linux is "always faster" than Vista or Mac OS X -- to the tune of 1% to 2% -- because like Windows 2000, "it never runs anything in the background."

Never runs anything in the background? What in the world does that mean? Am I missing something, here, or is this just the wrong terminology to use? Even at the most basic use level, you can "background" an application in Linux with the ampersand ... I'm confused.

Not to mention that they didn't test Linux... or, presumably, any Unix OS. They basically only tested Apple and Microsoft operating systems. Hm. I actually like Windows on occasion, and I find that pretty stupid. (I also like Linux :) )

It did have some interesting things to say though, like the block alignment.

Re:Weird article. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077245)

I hate to say it, but Apple OS X IS a Unix OS...

Re:Weird article. (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077291)

To some extent anyways, yeah. I don't know how similar it is to other *nix systems like Solaris, HPUX, and AIX... I haven't used it enough.

Re:Weird article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077329)

Again, OS X is certified Unix. It isn't unix to some extent. It IS Unix.

Re:Weird article. (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077469)

You're right, it is unix.

I guess my 'beef' with them not testing *ahem* other Unix platforms is that they are vastly different. I have personal experience with AIX, HPUX, and Solaris, and they are all very different, and all are Unix... but they tested a lot of Windows versions, apparently.

Who cares right now? (2, Insightful)

NineNine (235196) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076963)

Obviously, SSD's are in their infancy. NO OS has been even remotely optimized for them yet, I'm sure (except maybe the big hitters, like Solaris). I'd be willing to be my left leg that the next version of every commercial OS (OSX, Windows, Linux*) is optimized for them. This article is irrelevant.

Re:Who cares right now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077061)

Be all you can be - be your left leg!

Also (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077079)

SSDs may change before they become very popular. Right now they are cool, but still too expensive and too small to be used in mainstream computers. We've got a few more years before they start to become the sort of thing you see in normal systems. Well in that time they certainly could change. What is true about their performance today may not be then.

Just did this, DMX4, Suse 10, Oracle 10g. (2, Interesting)

Bardwick (696376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076981)

Wasn't a massive test. Used Swingbench against 170g database. Quad core, 2gig. Disks were 300g 15k fiber, dual pathed. Swingbench seemed to be like 50 users running VERY poor queries, so this was almost 98% reads. Ms response time was between 3-4, cache hits minimal. Added EMC (1) 146g SSD into the disk group. Response time hit .4 to 1 ms response, identical tests.

Re:Just did this, DMX4, Suse 10, Oracle 10g. (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077111)

Your success will largely depend on the size of the result sets. SSDs are much better at small, random reads because there is no seek time(they are random access, all bits take the same amount of time to read). However, several benchmarks have shown that on long, sustained reads, higher end hard drives tend to fare better.

Re:Just did this, DMX4, Suse 10, Oracle 10g. (1)

Bardwick (696376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077505)

I would agree. The test was not extensive by any means. 1 host hooked into a DMX-4 is a little over kill and not a real world test. My biggest point that I wasn't very clear on, is that it will be silly to build a disk group made up of 100% SSD. I disk group (say 300g 15k's) with 1 SSD disk added is a HUGE peformance bump on that group.

What's wrong with this picture? (4, Insightful)

flajann (658201) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077053)

This article fails in several respects:
  1. Linux, a very major OS, is not even included in their tests.
  2. A proper test would not have ANYTHING running in the background.
  3. Issues such as how much read and write caching the OS does will affect performance.
  4. Article does not list a performance table or chart -- but perhaps I missed that.
  5. The actual File System used is really at issue here, but the article did not mention anything about File Systems from what I could tell.
  6. Defragging a SSD? Shouldn't need that. And obviously defragging schemes which were written for magnetic hard drives will probably be less than optimal for the SSD anyway.
  7. Article, as far as I could tell, did not cite the benchmarking methodology used.

Overall, I would state that this article is useless beyond "cocktail gossip." And really, SSD should have a specific FS written to its peculiarities, which would, of course, render the "OS" questions moot.

Re:What's wrong with this picture? (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077133)

Linux is not a "very major OS". I know it is on slashdot, but not in the rest of the world. Any OS that has less than a few percent of the desktop market can not be very major, by definition.

Re:What's wrong with this picture? (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077159)

Outside of the States, Linux is often the 2nd most popular OS behind Windows.

Re:What's wrong with this picture? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077519)

but no one cares what happens in third world countries.

Re:What's wrong with this picture? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077751)

it's pretty big in the scandinavian countries

Re:What's wrong with this picture? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077179)

linux is only a major os in your mind. stop being such a fanboi.

Re:What's wrong with this picture? (1)

c-reus (852386) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077467)

A proper test would not have ANYTHING running in the background.

Not even init?

Author Seems Confused (1)

immcintosh (1089551) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077073)

I developed the distinct impression that the author of this article didn't really understand much of what he was writing about, or else dumbed it down so badly that it lost any semblance of accuracy. I'll admit, I'm no expert (not even close), but to me it seemed very inaccurate.

For example, there's some talk about how Windows boots compared to OSX, and he goes on to claim that the "BIOS does lots of stuff" while Windows is waiting for the hard drive to spin up. Um, does me mean while the BIOS is POSTing? As in, before Windows has anything to do with the boot procedure? As in, this has nothing whatsoever to do with Windows as he seems to be suggesting? Maybe he's just taking the direct quote without qualification here, but it seems like something that would be important to qualify if your pretense is writing an article about operating systems and not motherboard/BIOS architectures.

Really, it was just riddled with moments like that were one end of a sentence didn't seem to jive with the other, but it could just be my ignorance on the subject.

In 20 years..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077101)

Will we still be doing benchmarks in Windows 2000?

If we will be, why dont we run benchmarks on Apple 7.x or Windows 3.1 ?

consider mobile OS performance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077211)

Can anyone weigh in on how Andriod or another full-featured mobile OS performs with flash, considering that flash is the standard storage type for the platforms they were developed for?

Is this article relevant? (1)

DickBreath (207180) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077221)

SanDisk: Windows Vista not optimized for solid-state drives [cnet.com]

From TFA . . .

Speaking during SanDisk's second-quarter earnings conference call, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Eli Harari said that Windows Vista will present a special challenge for solid-state drive makers. "As soon as you get into Vista applications in notebook and desktop, you start running into very demanding applications because Vista is not optimized for flash memory solid-state disk," he said.

This is due to Vista's design. "The next generation controllers need to basically compensate for Vista shortfalls," he said.

"Unfortunately, (SSDs) performance in the Vista environment falls short of what the market really needs and that is why we need to develop the next generation, which we'll start sampling end of this year, early next year," Harari said.

Harari said this challenge alone is putting SanDisk behind schedule. "We have very good internal controller technology, as you know...That said, I'd say that we are now behind because we did not fully understand, frankly, the limitations in the Vista environment," he added.

Now that is what I would call a ringing endorsement!

If you don't mind... (1)

Lisias (447563) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077303)

... using fewer applications on a given time, disable the virtual memory.

As the currenlty available UMPC (like the newest eeepc) has 1 or even 2 Gigabytes of RAM, one can choose to sacrifice some addressing space in exchange to avoiding swapping memory to SSD.

It works, I tried it on a eeepc from a friend, and the little thing started to fly. However, it was unable to open as many webpages as before.

It's an exchange. You trade (virtual) memory size for speed.

Is optimising for ssd not just optimising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077315)

as in - are there any circumstance where reducing the number of needless writes makes the machine run slower. All I can imagine there being a drawback would be virtual memory - but does that still exist in modern OSs?

Surprising? (1)

Comboman (895500) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077393)

surprisingly Windows 2000 appears to be the winner when it comes to performance with SSD

How is it surprising that a decade-old operating system runs faster on modern hardware than modern operating systems bloated with extra features? They should have tested MS-DOS as well, I'd bet they would have a new 'winner'.

Talk about the tail wagging the dog! (1)

DSmith1974 (987812) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077509)

Who chooses an OS around a disk FFS! I'd have thought most people would chose an OS that suits there needs based around usability, security, app availability or whatever and then (maybe) select a disk that works well with that OS. Is it really that much of an issue anyway?

W00+ (1)

rssrss (686344) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077761)

WIN2K. I resemble that remark. I am still running Win 2K and Office 97, and they still WFM! WooT!

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